Winter Fast One MTB Race
So I completed my first MTB only race for the year on the 1 May. Compared to DualX, this race was much easier with the focus being on speed as opposed to technical skill and heavy climbing.
Organization and general issues
The race organization was mostly good. Since this was the second time doing thia race I had some expectations around the sizing and process that was involved with the race day setup. Sadly those expectations weren’t exactly met, mostly due to the size of the crowd which was significantly larger than last year. Because of this, getting into the venue, finding parking, race number collection and toilet facilities were all over crowded. From what I understand, the organizers were aware just how many people signed up so I wish they had catered for things a little better. Overall these issues have become fairly minor to me so I wont say they spoilt the event at all, it just made the pre-race wait a little annoying.
The race did not have the best start with myself and bunch of other B batch riders somehow ending up with the C or D batch riders. Since there was no clear markings or pens it was really hard to figure out where we needed to be. In the end we needed to rush to the front after hearing the call for our batch to start racing. Since we were the last couple rider to leave our batch, I feel we lost a significant amount of time and then got stuck behind slower riders once we hit the single track.
With the pressure to make up some of the distance, I ended up attacking too aggressively and too often in the first 20 mins or so of the race. As expected this led to a small fall as I hit a middle island on a dual track section and slid out for a bit. After that small spill, I ended up dialing it back too much. In hindsight, I should have kept the pressure on and then relaxed a bit more on the longer climbs.
The course this year was reversed from last year, which was a welcome change since it meant I wasn’t too used to how things looked. Unfortunately, it also meant I didn’t get much advantage from racing it last year. The course also had about an extra 5km’s compared to the course that I rode last year. Overall I preferred this route since it felt like I could attack harder on the downhills since they weren’t always positioned around the slightly technical sections like last year.
I was surprised by how nicely my climbing had progressed (or maybe I just wasn’t as tired as I was for DualX) and I was able to climb most of the hills quite hard, unlike last year. I was even more surprised to find that I was able to overtake a number of riders on some of the longer uphills.
My relief on making it to the end of the race without any technical issues can not be expressed adequately in words. That’s because it’s been my biggest issue last year and an issue on my road ride earlier this year. Thankfully my bike performed like a beast and didn’t give any issues throughout the race.
In the end this was a great race. I gave the race everything I had and while I could have possibly done better if I had trained harder ahead of time, I am more than happy with the time that I posted this year (1:57). I was also happy with my batch selection which was mostly based on an honor system. I chose the B batch which put me in the 24-20km speed range and I am happy that I was actually able to hit an average within that range for the race (even if it was just barely).
After my recovery sleep, the pain was pretty bad and mostly manifested in the form of major neck tensionand soreness in my abs area and joints. Comparing this to the notes from my last road race, this seems to be a recurring issue and is probably something I should look at addressing, both on the ride and immediately afterwards.
The statistics from my race can be found here : http://www.movescount.com/moves/move60916808